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article imageDemocrats Try To Avoid 'Embarrassing Display Of Discord' Of Clinton Backers In Denver

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By Susan Duclos     Aug 8, 2008 in Politics
Democratic officials are "scrambling" to figure out how to avoid embarrassment at the Democratic National Convention from Hillary Clinton supporters that are demanding a roll call vote.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seem to disagree on the method of appeasing her supporters in order to unite them with the rest of the party again.
In a recent answer to one of Clinton's ardent supporters, who asked Clinton about an open roll call vote at the convention, shown on YouTube, Clinton said she was looking for a strategy to use at the convention that would offer her supporters a "catharsis". Clinton said "The best way I think to do that is to have a strategy so that my delegates feel like they've had a role and that their legitimacy has been validated. It's as old as Greek drama. There's a catharsis. Everybody comes, and they want to yell and scream and have their opportunity, and I think that's all to the good."
Obama disagrees with that as evidenced by his statements shown in a Washington Post article, "I'm letting our respective teams work out the details. I don't think we're looking for catharsis. I think what we are looking for is energy and excitement about the prospects of changing this country, and I think that people who supported a whole range of different candidates during the primaries are going to come out of that convention feeling absolutely determined that we have to take the White House back."
Complicating matters further, Clinton supports have received a permit to have a parade and rally in Denver during the convention. The date of the parade just so happens to coincide with the date that Clinton will speak at the convention.
Clinton supporters and delegates are still mobilizing to try to force a vote on the convention floor to give Clinton supporters a voice at the convention and one person that is helping to organize that effort is Michele Thomas, who says, "If the party is speaking about unity, they [the Clinton delegates] believe the only way to unify the party is actually allowing them to vote. Moving beyond the convention, if they were not allowed to vote there would be a lot of resentment."
If there were to be a roll call vote, the likely scenario would be that Clinton delegates would issue a symbolic vote for Clinton and the rest would vote for Obama in the first round of balloting.
A candidate needs 2,118 to win the official nomination and if neither candidate received that number, then a second round of balloting would occur and it is likely that Clinton would then officially release her delegates to Obama before the second round of balloting, and then Obama would get most, if not all, the delegates and officially win the party nomination.
This is not a favorable scenario for the Obama campaign because although he would still walk out with the official nomination, it would show divisions, very publicly, within the party as they are trying to show a united front.
There is also the potential in that scenario to embarrass Hillary Clinton if Obama did win enough delegates in the first round of balloting and she received less than her supporters believe she will.
Officials from each of the two maintain that negotiations about an open vote on the convention floor are still in the works, but recent reports have stated that Hillary Clinton will not ask for her name to be placed in nomination, which she must do in order for it to be there.
That report did come out before the YouTube video of Clinton's question and answer session.
[Update] As soon did I hit activate on this article, another piece came to my attention directly related to the Clinton delegates.
Dozens of Clinton delegates are speaking out and saying they will unite behind Obama if they get their convention vote and are allowed to vote in the first round of balloting for their candidate of their choice.
Though the majority of the Democratic Party backs Sen. Barack Obama, an undercurrent of staunch and loyal Clinton supporters say they'll fight all the way to the national convention, which begins Aug. 25 in Denver, to put her name on the ballot.
One delegate, a Ms. Brenda Krause, says she is tired of "fearmongering" among the Democrats and states, "I'm not going to be coerced into something I don't believe in. That makes me less unified. If they let me have my voice, I'll feel more unified."
Another delegate, Daniel Kagan, a property developer and lawyer from Arapahoe County, says, "I will come on board the unity train with a first-class ticket if, before doing so, I get the opportunity to vote for my candidate. On Aug. 28, when Obama accepts the nomination, I will be there cheering along with the rest of them, but only if I have had the chance to vote first."
Kagan is among a small group of people working to garner 300 signatures from national delegates to complete DNC rule requirements to put Clinton's name back on the ballot. Even if they get enough signatures, Clinton must agree to have her name placed on the ballot.
According to a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Convention Committee, Natalie Wyeth, Howard Dean who is the chairman has said it is up to Hillary Clinton.
Source- Denver Post
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